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A Conversation on Kindness: Jeanette Mare of Ben's Bells

Start Time:   3/26/2013 8:25 AM

End Time:   3/26/2013 9:40 AM

Location:   SC 140-144

The mission of the Ben’s Bells Project is to inspire, educate and motivate each other to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships and our communities. Ben’s Bells Project was founded in 2003 after the sudden death of Jeannette Maré’s two-year old son, Ben. The simple, everyday acts of kindness following his death helped Maré survive and begin to heal. She was inspired to establish the Ben’s Bells Project as a way to recognize and continue the kindness shown to her. On the 1rst anniversary of Ben’s death, four hundred bells were hung in public places for strangers to find. To date more than 30,000 bells have been hung in Tucson and beyond.In addition to bell distributions, Ben’s Bells Project provides kindness education programming for more than 100 schools, organizations and businesses. There is a growing field of multidisciplinary research that demonstrates the powerful effects of kindness on individuals’ long term health and on the overall quality of life in communities.Jeannette Maré, Ben’s Bells founder and Executive Director, will lead “A Conversation on Kindness”, an in depth discussion of the challenges and opportunities we encounter in every interaction as we strive to create a kinder community. During this conversation, Jeannette will reflect on her own personal experiences with kindness in the face of devastating grief, as well as her work with Ben’s Bells Project and the power of kindness to transform people and communities. She will discuss the emerging body of research on the science of kindness. Jeannette Maré is the founder and Executive Director of Ben’s Bells Project. Jeannette’s leadership has anchored the organization through remarkable growth, including the opening of two studios, collaborating with hundreds of local organizations and recruiting more than 24,000 annual volunteers. As part of her vision, Ben’s Bells has become nationally recognized and “kindness” is becoming part of the nation’s collective consciousness. Before becoming full time Executive Director of Ben’s Bells, Jeannette was faculty at the University of Arizona teaching discourse analysis. She holds a Masters Degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Jeannette is grateful to have the opportunity to combine her two passions – teaching and community building – in her role with Ben’s Bells.

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